There are plenty of plants in the Kruger National Park that vary from large and beautiful trees to beautiful flowers that contain a nasty and sharp surprize. These sneaky plants all come in beautiful shapes and colours and can be rather deceptive when viewed from afar. These colourful plants tend to attract herbivores and therefore, they have some natural self-defensive measures in the form of barbs and thorns. Let us discuss some of the Colourful and sometimes deceptive plants that have a nasty defence.
The Kudu Lily is a beautiful flower from a succulent Scrub that has a naturally swollen stem with branches that travel along the ground. The branches of these flowers are covered in tiny sharp spines that protect the plant from herbivores that would want to feed on the deceptively delicious plant. The Kudu Lily has a beautiful white flower that has 5 large petals that will generally bloom during the autumn months. The Kudu Lily grows in the Lebombo Mountains as well as various areas of the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
The Devil’s Thorn is a relative of the Eggplant and Tomato Plant. The leaves are semi thick and are fibrous in texture. There are sharp and intimidating leaves that stick out of the veins of the leaves which gives the Devil’s Thorn its name. The flower of the Devil’s Thorn is a beautiful mauve-pink colour that is trumpet shaped and has fruit that is semi poisonous. The Devil’s Thorn is a rather common plant that can be found all throughout South Africa as well as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana.
The Mountain Aloe
The Mountain Aloe is a very common and iconic plant in South Africa. The Mountain Aloe is a tall plant that has a tree like stem. The leaves of the Mountain aloe is very iconic as it has very thick leaves that are green blue in colour and has spines that run down the ridges of the leaves. The leaves leak a thick yellow sap when broken. The sap is known for its impact in the medical field as it is used in a large amount of medicines and salves. The Flowers of the Mountain Aloe grows on a tall tube like stem. The flowers of the Mountain Aloe are tube like in shape and are yellow in colour. The flowers of the Mountain Aloe grows and blooms from June to August. The Mountain Aloe has no natural predators as herbivores have a tough time consuming the thick leaves of the plants.
The Moon Cactus is a species of cactus that hails from South America. The Moon Cactus lacks chlorophyll and therefore has a red, orange or yellow pigmentation. The Cactus is green in colour, covered in spines. The Cactus when potted can grow a different colour at the top and is a popular plant when potted. In the Wild, the Moon Cactus is considered a pest and grows all though out the Kruger National Park.